In it, Giovanni gives James an experimental drug to use that ends up making him irritable and violent. After learning about the drug Jessie calls Mondo and they discover the dark underbelly of Team Rocket.
Started in 2000, the fanfic was eventually finished thirteen years later in 2013.
The Dark Side Of Innocence contains examples of:
- Alternate Universe: It's stated in later chapters that Team Rocket has gone through Hoenn and Sinnoh yet Ash still travels with Misty, not May, Max, or Dawn. This was likely done because the fic took so long to finish but the writer didn't want to be permanently in the Original Series. It's also mentioned that the original Togepi evolved and was replaced with a new Togepi.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: James delivers one to Jessie when he says that he'd never hurt her.
- Dark Fic: The fic is rated M and is easily darker than anything in canon. It features profanity (albeit minor profanity that is used sparsely), has some sexual themes, contains descriptions of violence and drug use, and later chapters feature graphic deaths.
- Driven to Suicide: It's mentioned that another Rocket member who was given the drug killed himself after he realized he had killed his wife, child, and three other people while under the influence.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: After killing Giovanni, Mondo learns that Giovanni has an unnamed son (presumably the anime counterpart of Silver). He hadn't even umagined that a monster like Giovanni could be a father and is horrified to learn he's orphaned a child.
- Lethal Chef:
- Jessie is terrible at cooking. She once charred fish while leaving the insides raw and she let a stove catch on fire while cooking soup. She apparently didn't know the stove wasn't supposed to produce fire.
- Misty is a worse cook than Jessie. Jessie is the only person that can stand her cooking—even Misty won't eat her own food.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Subverted. Ash and Misty have aged to thirteen over their journey, instead of staying ten like in canon.
- Parental Abandonment: Lana mentions that her mother disowned her and ran off with her brother after she joined Team Rocket like her late father had.
- Survivor's Guilt: Mondo feels this after he leaves Lana to be killed by a Persian
- Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: In a half asleep, half drugged state James strangles Jessie when he mistakes her for Jessiebelle.
- Took A Level In Jerk Ass: The drugs Giovanni gives James causes him to behave in a more aggressive and cruel fashion than is typical.
- Would Hurt a Child: In chapter 1, James shoots his bazooka straight as Ash, Misty, and Brock. This upsets Meowth and Jessie as they don't murder people.
- Sempai/Kohai: Mondo referring to Jessie as "Musashi-senpai" is translated as him referring to her as "Miss Jessie". He doesn't refer to James or Meowth as "Mister" though. Mondo calling Jessie "miss" is a sign of his crush on her.